Long time no see

25 07 2009

Recently, I’ve been indulging my other hobby of car audio a little too much. It really is hard to have multiple, expensive, time-consuming hobbies 🙂

I’ve been lurking the regular photo forums while sipping my morning coffee but that’s about the extent of my picture taking in the past month or so. That, and I don’t have a place to upload pics since I’m still debating whether or not I want to deal with flickr or move up to smugmug even though I’m far from a pro.

Seeing this article posted on a forum I frequent, just hit me in a way that I can’t help but agree with wholeheartedly. Being a person on a budget of very little, I can’t afford the best or newest. What I do have (and that I’m proud of) are lenses that work well for me and give me results that most would be hard-pressed to tell apart from equipment costing 5 times as much…or more.

I’m a huge proponent of “use what works” and Mike over at TOP couldn’t have stated it better. If you haven’t read this yet, grab a beverage of your choice and get at it! I’m blissfully ignorant when it comes to lens tests, and you should be, too 😉

Here’s a link to Mike’s blog, The Online Photographer Hope you enjoy it and it gives you a new perspective or teaches you something 😉



A new journey begins, circa 1965

29 05 2009

Today I received an early 1960s Pentax SV SLR camera on “loan” from a PentaxForums member. This camera is traveling around the US and all you have to pay for is shipping to the next person in line (and for film naturally 😉 ). A flickr group has been created to showcase the pictures we make using this camera, and you can see it here: Sightseeing Screwmount

15. Home

I have it for about 2 weeks and some film will be delivered tomorrow. Then comes the fun of processing them and the “fun” of scanning and post processing.

Why will this be any different than using another manual film cam like my Pentax MX or Fujica ST801? To start with, there is no meter inside the camera. That’s right…none. So I will have to depend on either the “Sunny 16 Rule” or use a light meter or another camera’s light meter. Or just be lucky at guessing…who knows 😉

The SV comes with a well-used “well-loved” Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 lens. Should also be fun to give that a spin on the K10D.

Since this is a screwmount camera, I can use my M42 extension tubes, Sears 55mm f/1.4 lens (just have to be sure it’ll clear the mirror), and Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 preset lens. A nice little kit with a 55 and 28, although the 28 is not small!

I made a little unboxing story using my other cameras, follow along in the set if you’d like 😀 Using one flash as most of my light is not ideal…and flickr needs to stop messing with my pics.

My favorite shot from that set:
7. Peeking

I hope you will enjoy this adventure as much as I will! 😀

Try something a little different

23 05 2009

Normally, I think of myself as a “true-to-life” photographer (if I could even call myself one! :P). I really dislike over the top HDR images, or anything that you can tell has been PhotoShopped to death. Today, I took some pictures out on the porch and when I reviewed them on the computer, they didn’t really do anything for me. Available light can be so boring at times.

When I go into PS (through Adobe Bridge), the adjustments I touch are what I consider “traditional wet darkroom” techniques. Basically, if it couldn’t be done before the advent of computers, it’s too much for me. At the risk of calling myself I liar, I do enjoy PS Fuji Velvia film style once in a while. The visual styles from the movie 300 also appeal to me here and there.

What have I done today? Well, no plugins first off. These were tweaked with the settings/sliders in Adobe Bridge and USM (Unsharp Mask) added inside CS3. I just started sliding and this is what came out!

(Both taken with Pentax K10D and Sears 55mm f/1.4 lens @ f/4, ISO 400, hand-held)

I wanted to accentuate the mask’s colors and also emphasize the wood’s grain since they are basically on the same focus plane. If the mask were 6-12 inches away from the wall, I would have downplayed the wood. Vibrancy of color is something I enjoy immensely, one of the reasons I can’t “just” shoot B&W film. Color is too awesome! (I realize the mask is not straight. I wanted to work with the wood panel’s lines, for sure, and the mask seemed more natural while tilted a little.)

Mysterious Tilt
(900px link here )

This next shot, however, was taken with bokeh and highlights in mind. When I sat down to review it, the background was plain distracting. A square crop was what I felt worked best with the pot and the shape of the plant. The colors just didn’t “pop” to me so lowering the contrast seemed a good workaround. I’ve titled it something appropriate 😀 Although I didn’t have a hand–errr…thumb–in its demise 😉 (Still not sure if I like this pic or not…)

Dr. No Thumb
(900px size here )

Have a great long weekend! I hope you have good light, and be safe 🙂

Pentax’s official video

20 05 2009

This has been posted multiple times on PentaxForums, but here is the link for easy reference.

It is a Pentax USA video so it’s in English 😉 Lots of the features are shown in the walk through and we now hear what specs are true, straight from Pentax.

You can find the video posted here on youtube 🙂 I’ve watched it twice already 😛

Flagship ahoy! B&H has K-7

20 05 2009

They have it for preorder, arriving in July that is. As I write this (10:30am Central) it’s listed at $1299.95USD for the body only.

So consider this your head’s up…these specs are official. Anything you read on here from now on and any link I post will be official Pentax K-7 stuff, unless otherwise clearly stated.

Notice the new AF system in the specs…that is an AF lamp next to the shutter. By goodness…they made it happen. Good job Pentax!!!

There is simply an overload of info going on right now. For now, please visit Mike over at TOP and Mark at Chasing Light for some first impressions.

Before I post this…I want to say: ISO 100-3200 yesssssss!!! It’s “expandable” up to 6400 but has a native 3200! I hope it’s good at those numbers because I will surely use them. And my biggest gripe with the K10D is the loud shutter. The K-7 is silent! Wow, this is great news…these 2 pieces of info are just what I was waiting for 🙂

Congrats Pentax…you have a winner on your hands. Can’t wait to have a K-7 in mine! 😀 😀 It’s a great day to be a Pentaxian!!

A plethora of K-7 pics including menus!

19 05 2009

Wow…so it seems the source of the “in hand” pic I posted earlier today has tons more pics!

(Via PentaxForums )

Click this link to go to the website where the new DA 50-220mm f/4-5.6 ED WR “kit” lens is posted with many views (notice the gasket on the lens mount!), along with much of the menu options.

For video, 1080i, 720p, and 480p are supported. Nice! The bottom is shown as is the new D-LI90 battery and AA battery-loading option is confirmed! Aperture control in movie mode, autofocus with remote…so many pics of the goodness! Simply too much to repeat here…you need to check out the pics even if you can’t read the site 😉

K-7 from any angle but below

19 05 2009

The new Pentax K-7 will be announced tomorrow at 7am, my time (Central). I don’t know how “new” a post tomorrow will be, since we’ve seen all the pics. I guess it will be specs-laden since we will know all in a few hours.

For now, I will let the pictures do (most of) the talking. Any questions/comments please do not hesitate to leave a comment! Enjoy! 😀

K-7 angle

In this shot, the arrow is pointing to the sensor plane marking. This makes it easy to measure plane-to-subject distance for macro photography, especially. The little hole near the on-board flash is what I believe to be the Microphone:
K-7 mic and plane

K-7 front flash

K-7 full front
(Source: PentaxForums )

AF Assist is said to be through the on-board flash. If an external flash is attached to the hotshoe, the flash AF beam will be used. Going out on a limb here…the pre-flash for AF Assist just might use the strobe itself. We shall see if they change that:
K-7 AF Assist menu
(Source: PentaxForums )

Doesn’t look bad in a man’s hands 😉
K-7 in hand
(Source: PentaxForums )

See you all tomorrow! 😀 😀